UPDATE to this story!
Thanks to Dan Lucas of Oregon Catalyst here is new information:
According to data from the State of Oregon – Oregon Health Authority – Public Health Division, there has been an average of one death per year in Oregon of a minor as a result of a gun accident – based on the most recent 5 years’ available data. And it’s only one due to rounding – it’s actually less than one death a year (0.8). That’s less than one death per year out of 873,000 Oregonians under 18. In 2 of the 5 years there were 0 deaths in Oregon of a minor as a result of a gun accident.
See his story HERE including graph that shows actual deaths per year from all accidents.
Today’s newspaper carried a story about children hurt or killed by guns left out for them to access. This is no doubt an issue. From the story: “Oregon currently has no law requiring firearm owners to prevent minors from gaining access to firearms, nor a law requiring firearm owners to lock their weapons, according to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.” My question is: If you passed a law “requiring firearm owners to prevent minors from gaining access to firearms, or to lock their weapons” how exactly do we enforce that? It’s not that I think it’s a bad idea, it’s just that it’s impossible to enforce. Therefore, the folks proposing this want to enact STIFF penalties to those who don’t and a child is hurt or killed by the weapon.
Here’s a comment from Sen. Ginny Burdick: “It’s such a tremendous effort to take on the gun lobby on any gun issue, but child access prevention is serious, and gun owners need to be held accountable, There are too many times where there are no charges brought and there should be strong civil liability.”
So I ask a couple questions: Will that solve the problem? Will irresponsible parents now rush to do the right thing because a law was passed? If we really HAMMER those irresponsible parents AFTER the fact, will that change what happened? You know, the parents who still smoke cigarettes with their kids in the car? The ones who don’t strap their kids into car seats? The ones who do meth and pass out while the child is in his/her high chair? We can’t “legislate” against stupidity. We can’t get irresponsible parents to do what’s right by creating new laws. Laws that SHOULD affect poor parenting skills don’t work now (you can’t legislate against stupidity, oh I said that already, perhaps we should legislate that irresponsible people shouldn’t have kids? Sheesh).
We need MORE education and fewer laws. I propose FREE locks for all gun owners at the point of sale. I would also like to see all gun purchasers, especially those with children, attend a free parenting class on the safe handling of firearms. Surely we could do something like that? I was taught those things from an early age as was my own son. It’s something that both my wife and I feel very strongly about and we always kept the weapons OUT of reach of our son when he was young. We can’t MAKE irresponsible people suddenly responsible by creating laws that are completely unenforceable…unless of course your REAL agenda is: banning of ALL firearms….which is REALLY what Penny Okamoto from Ceasefire Oregon along with several Democratic lawmakers want. Let’s be honest here, they know these types of laws are impossible to enforce, just as SB 941 has proven to be, but they don’t care, they just want to tell their big donors that “I did the right thing” and ultimately the goal is to disarm America. I think there’s a better way. Let’s continue this dialogue because our children shouldn’t be used as political pawns for an agenda!
That picture up above is shocking….it’s heartbreaking….that’s a result of BAD PARENTING not because a law will stop her from getting that gun.
See article HERE.